Each month, we will provide information regarding the previous month’s climate. April 2015’s combined average global land and ocean temperature was 1.33° Fahrenheit (0.74°C) higher than the 20th century average. This was the fourth highest for April in the 136-year period of record, but also, the lowest monthly departure from average since November 2014.
Dataset: 20150521 EarthNow: April 2015 Highlights
Dataset: 20150521 EarthNow: AUDIO April 2015 Highlights
This dataset shows some of the major April weather and climate highlights from the National Climatic Data Center’s (NCDC) monthly global climate analysis, and serves as an overview of what can be discussed in the datasets that follow. Highlights are noted below.
- Scandinavia: Some locations in Finland observed temperatures 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit (2°C) warmer than average. Sweden and Norway also experienced warmer than normal temperatures.
- Spain: The average temperature for Spain was 3.1 degrees Fahrenheit (1.7°C) above average. Similar to the global average, Spain experienced their fourth warmest April on record since records began.
- United States: Nationally, the average temperature for April was 2.1 degrees Fahrenheit (1.1°C) above the 20th century average. This makes April 2015 the 17th warmest April on record for the contiguous U.S.. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, 37.4% of the contiguous U.S. was in drought at the end of April.
- Argentina: Warmer than average conditions across much of the country. Some locations recorded their warmest April since records began more than a half a century ago.
- Australia: Temperatures were cooler than normal in April with the mean temperature at 1.22 degrees Fahrenheit (0.68 °C) below normal, making it the 29th lowest on record.
- Russia: Temperature readings of 9 degrees Fahrenheit (5°C) above normal.
Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies Dataset
Dataset: 20150521 EarthNow: April 2015 SST Anomaly
Dataset: 20150521 EarthNow: AUDIO April 2015 SST Anomaly
- The real-time sea surface temperature anomaly dataset is a great way to visualize the El Niño – Southern Oscillation (ENSO) in the eastern Pacific Ocean.
- The average April global sea surface temperature was 1.08 degrees Fahrenheit (0.60°C) higher than the 20th century average, marking the highest global ocean temperature on record for the month.
- According to NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, weak-to-moderate El Niño conditions were present during April 2015. There is a 90% chance that these El Niño conditions will continue through the Northern Hemisphere summer, and more than 80% chance it will last through 2015.
- Remember blues indicate cooler than average temperatures and reds indicate warmer than average temperatures (white: average).
Snow and Ice Cover Dataset
Dataset: 20150521 EarthNow: April 2015 Snow and Ice Cover
Dataset: 20150521 EarthNow: AUDIO April 2015 Snow and Ice Cover
- Aside from helping to illustrate seasonal changes, the real-time Snow and Ice Cover dataset is a great way to convey sea ice change through time, including discussing how the current sea ice extent compares to other noteworthy years.
- The Arctic sea ice extent for February 2015 was 5.5% below the 1981-2010 average, making it the second smallest April sea ice extent since satellite records began in 1979.
- In Antarctica, the sea ice extent was 22.4% above the 1981-2010 average, the largest on record for the month of April.
Be sure to check out the 3-month seasonal outlooks for June – August.
- Global Temperature Outlook
- Global Precipitation Outlook
- U.S. Drought Outlook
Where do I find the datasets?
First, check your SOS system to make sure it’s not already in the EarthNow category.
In addition to the normal files, there is now a “digest” section. This section in the file structure has all of the normal files compiled into one video.
Helpful Resources for More Information
NOAA National Climatic Data Center, State of the Climate: Global Analysis for August 2014, published online September 2014, retrieved on September 29, 2014 from http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/.